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Childhood Cancer Survivor Returns To Hospital As Pediatric Nurse

Photo from Montana Brown

A 24-year-old started working as a nurse at the same hospital where she was a cancer patient years ago.

Montana Brown’s dream was finally realized when she came on board the AFLAC Cancer Center in Atlanta as a pediatric cancer nurse, ABC News reports. The two-time childhood cancer survivor is no stranger to the facility, having spent plenty of time there.

When she was two years old, Brown was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of childhood cancer of the connective tissue. She completed chemotherapy for a year at the AFLAC Cancer Center, during which her parents tried to help her live normally, watching movies with her and so on while she was confined.

Brown recovered and when she reached high school, she was an active gymnast and cheerleader who was taking part in competitions. Then at the end of her freshman year, the family received the shocking news that the cancer was back. She was fifteen.

“I had just tried out for my high school cheerleading team,” Brown said. “I actually ran a mile while I had cancer and had no idea…There weren’t symptoms but my mom and dad could tell that something was different about me and they knew that something was a little off.”

She had to go to the hospital every week, and underwent more chemotherapy and radiation. The doctors also told her that she would have to quit cheerleading and gymnastics.

Regarding her stay at AFLAC, Brown said, “The nurses here, as great as they were when I was 2 — from what my mom says — they were extremely loving and caring and compassionate. And, just the love they showed me and my family in our time of need just really helped me.” They inspired her. She added,

It helped me want to become as kind and as caring and as compassionate as they were for me.

She decided that nursing was what she wanted to pursue. She described, “[In nursing school,] I would always say, ‘I’m only going to nursing school to do pediatric oncology, like I don’t want to do anything else. I don’t want to work anywhere else. I’m going to school strictly to do pediatric oncology.’ And so it’s kind of crazy how full circle it’s come so far.”

Brown hopes to become a source of hope and inspiration for children fighting the same fight she did. “I really wanted to be that person where when I said, ‘Hey, I totally understand. This is where I was. This is where I am now.’ That me and my patients would form a bond. I’m not walking through the doors as a patient anymore. I am walking through as a staff member.”

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